I absolutely love Ursa Major. We have been able to stay on Jber, and keep my daughter in Ursa major from preschool until fifth grade. She had one bad teacher when she was in second grade. The situation was handled quickly, and other teachers even stepped in to support my daughter. The second grade teacher no longer works there. Ursa Major offers many opportunities for parents to partner with the school, and their child's classroom, to form a real team approach to each child's education. We are retiring soon, so we can stay in Alaska and the Anchorage school district.
The teachers and staff in this are above the bar. They go out of their way to help these children learn and feel loved. They have lots of free after school activities for all of the children. Mr. Bydlon the gym teacher stays after school with clubs at least 4 days a week. He is so dedicated to his job and teaching the kids a variety of different things. He has ropes club, cross country skiing and running club to name a few. Mr. Drake the music teacher does the same thing he has the best choir in the area. He is always giving his personal time to the kids. My children have had four of the teachers in this school, each one did everything they could to go above and beyond for my kids. This past year my 1st grader had the luck of getting Mrs. Green, she has been my favorite thus far in the school. She is passionate and gives all her effort for each of the kids. The kids have learned so much from her this year and they love coming to school. We have recently moved and my children miss the family atmosphere and welcoming feeling that this school has. The principal is always in the halls and the kids feel free to walk by and give him a high five. Wonderful school!
Great school with caring teachers! Lots of family events and the principle gets involved with the kids activities. Both my sons love all the teachers they have had and are sad they move after next school year.
My son started here in 3rd grade, he is not in 5th. I don't like the level of education...but the teachers are not at fault for that, they follow Anchorage Dchool District cirriculum. But when the principal and teachers encourage the children to bring their IPODS, IPADS, Tablets etc to school so they can "tap" up work to turn in, and the kids can't even write cursive confidently...that's an issue for me. Whe the teachers are constantly misplacing written work and making the kids re-write it in the rush of class...that is an issue for me. When the Principal's philosophy is "what happens on the playground, stays on the playground"...that's an issue for me. When the principal tells children who were is a scuffle, hitting each other is unacceptable, but the calling of names and cussin' does not concern him...I have issue with that. My 5 yr old starts Kinder there this summer, and I am so worried...wish I could afford private school. (Switching districts is not an easy task.)
As the 2011-2012 school year comes to an end, I will say that I am not impressed with this school over all. The class sizes in K have gone back and forth from 25 to 22 students thru out the year. The teachers seem a bit overwhelmed with the large class sizes. Also I feel like the academics standards are low; my daughter spent the first half of the year coloring. She was doing more in the preschool we came from. Now at the very end of the year we are finally starting with simple math and reading and handwriting. There are also a lot of behavioral problems at this school that seem to get pushed aside, and from reading other reviews I can see that this is an ongoing problem for the past few years. The bulling is out of control. The parents and staff need to get together and find a solution. As we look on to 1st grade I see the same thing large classes with lots of behavior problems. The principal needs to get his teacher the support they need and have a better working relationship with the PTA not just tell people this is how he wants it and that s it. I don't care for the principal or the assistant principal at this school.
My son went there for 4th grade in 2009 I enjoyed his teacher Ms. DeBoli, she was very helpful to his education. I did not like however how the school handling bulling. It was being pushed off until I reported it to the police on base. Bringing my son from a magnet to public was a hard change all the work he had already done in a lower grade, but his teacher did make adjustments on her own that really helped him stay at a comfortable level.
Ursa Major has great teachers but the student /teacher ratio is too large. The school lunches are not very good. The school counsler dose not care about the students and will not do any one on one time with the students. The principal is very rude to the students, parents and staff. Being on a a military base the school needs a principal and counsler who cares and can handle the community.
I have three children that attended Ursa Major for the past two years. I really like all the teachers. I have gotten to know many of them through volunteering and subbing at the school. All the teachers at this school put the students first. I feel they do their best to give each student a wonderful classroom experience although the class sizes are too large. The teachers revived little support from the principal and she lacks the ability to discipline or communicate with parents. She will not be returning to Ursa Major next year so I hope the new principal is better. A lot of the staff and PTA work hard to offer programs to get parents involved in their children's school and create a community environment.
WIll having my daughter attend ursa major for 2 years and then get PCS to another school. No don't get me wrong Ursa Major is a good school overall with their academic goals 'the best' they jsut have some teachers that are not experience to be a teacher for a elementary school. But now being in another state I wish I was back at Ursa Major.
I am not impressed with my son's teacher at the school and the principal isn't very accessible. I came in twice to talk to her and the secretary almost seemed to screen any request to talk to her. Basically, I haven't had a conversation with her other than 'hello.' However, with all this being said, I do see positive interaction in the hallways with other teachers. The music teacher seems really energetic and positve.